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Bodies: Sex, Violence, Disease, and Death in Contemporary Legend




Author: Gillian Bennett
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2005
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 313
Isbn10 Code: 1578067898
Isbn13 Code: 9781429460538


From the Publisher This examination of the most gruesome tales in contemporary urban legend --- Offers a fascinating cultural study of contemporary legends and their roots in traditional folk tales --- Taps the appeal of a fascinating aspect of current folklore studies—contemporary and urban legends of third world children kidnapped for organ theft, of frogs growing inside people, of dreaded diseases being deliberately transmitted --- Offers the latest work from a well-known British folklorist prominent in the field From the Author I spent 8 years researching and writing BODIES, and loved almost every minute of it despite the gruesomeness of the legends whose history I traced. And these legends are gruesome! But however bizarre and macabre the events they recount, I have never dismissed them as just silly stories. I believe that each one is powerful in its own way and capable of influencing the way people conduct their social and political life or make their medical, sexual, and personal choices. The central chapters are case histories of 6 typical legends. Though they are undoubtedly "contemporary," these legends have had as much relevance in other times and places as they have for us today. For example, the Blood Libel Legend can be traced to at least the 12th century (see Chapter 6); stories about animals living inside the human body can be found in medieval medical books (Chapter 1); and the legend I call "Killing the Prodigal Son" was being told on the streets of London and Paris in 1618 (Chapter 4). Throughout their lives, these stories have been told in a variety of media—by word of mouth, in newspapers, in novels, plays and poems—until the present day and are truly international. Contents Preface Chapter 1 Animals Inside: Bosom Serpents and Alimentary Amphibians Chapter 2 Poison and Honey Chapter 3 AIDS Aggressors: Mirrors, Caskets and Needles Chapter 4 Killing the Prodigal Son Chapter 5 Dispossessed: The Body Snatchers Chapter 6 Blood and Babies Afterword

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